The Dogs of Sherburne : A Great American Dog NOvel by author Tom Mody

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Meet the Dogs of Sherburne
dog Dallasdog Sugardog Scooter
dog Laddiedog Scampdog Sam
dog Hobiedog Generaldog Brandi
dogs Tuffy & Mitsy

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Author Contact:
Tom Mody
Mody Company Creative
607-336-6233 ph | 607-336-6232 fx
56 West Main, Norwich NY 13815


Author Notes | Chapter Excerpts | Fact or Fiction | Paw Prints

Chapter 15 Excerpts


"I awoke one morning to repetitive echoing thumps. It wasn’t anything new, I was use to that sound. It had just been many months since I last heard it. But I knew why it started again. I could smell it in the air, and more than ever, feel it in my bones. That defining day that separates winter from spring and by 1986, the warm weather was more welcome than ever to this old dog."



"I lunged forward off the stoop but some last nanosecond chemical reaction in my brain halted me before takeoff. Going airborne didn’t feel comfortable. The flight off the stoop was aborted and I decided to taxi each step. I didn’t think much of it and began my burst across the yard. With some speed behind me I now dedicated my energy to go airborne over the iron fence. My takeoff was sluggish but my front paws cleared the hurdle and landed.

“Son of a... OUUUUCH”!

There was extreme sharp pain and pressure near each side of my testicles- but they were intact. The back end of me never hit the ground and my forward momentum halted to a dead stop. My hind legs were still frozen in the air with pain shooting to each leg. I couldn’t move. The back half of me was stuck on the fence. I came down on two dulled iron spikes. Fortunately, I wasn’t impaled. This never happened before. I could withstand the pain but I was nervous in my stuck position and yelped like a scared little puppy.

...Master Tom and Master Mark ran over and carefully lifted the back side of me off the fence. I was fine but my body was talkin’ again, and for once, I began listening. That past winter I had been ignoring the stiffness walking up stairs and the trepidation at traversing to my balcony. I couldn’t consider the cold weather as the cause for this anymore. It finally registered- I was old.


Days on end would pass and I’d slumber away most of it until that damn “ding” would go off. I’d make the motion to get up but some days my legs just wouldn’t respond. By the second or third ding I’d make a mess of the shag carpet and not even have the strength to go hide in a corner. I could still hear much from the outside world as I laid below my balcony, taking in the baseboard register heat for some added warmth. The sounds were different though. Cars were much quieter with their new fuel efficiency. The park which once was a bustle with the smokin’ hippies throwing frisbees or causing a commotion was now a relaxing place for the elderly- myself included. Most disturbing was the lack of dogs barkin’ in pesky chase or howlin at the noon time whistle- victims of a leash happy new breed of Master and law."


Man's Best Friend

"Years ago the house was empty except for (Master Father). I heard sounds in the bedroom and I went upstairs and found him sitting somber upon his bed- tie loosened around his neck and his hand over his eyes. I noticed things had felt strange those past few days and I knew something was wrong. He had just returned from burying his father and was holding in a dam of emotions. Finally he was alone and it was all flooding out. I stood in the doorway and whimpered. He looked up at me and motioned me over. I just sat next to him and let that raw emotion poor over me. What a joy of feeling something- anything. Connecting with your Master one on one. It didn’t matter whether the emotion was happiness or sadness, fear or calm. To become a conduit for human emotion is a powerful experience for any dog. It may be the most useful feeling we could ever attain. We are dogs of man, remember.

On that table at the vets I then knew that emotion was about to be revisited. Finally, something would come full circle in my life."